Clean And Drain Your Brain By Doing This One Little Thing Every Night

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You have probably heard by now that the way we tend to sleep most of the night — on our back, stomach, side, or in the fetal position — can affect everything from our well-bring, personality, even our mood. Did you know, however, that what position you sleep in can actually affect the health of your brain?

A study recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience shows that sleeping on our sides, instead of on our stomach or back, allows the brain to remove waste products, which can reduce our risk of developing neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

It has long been known that the best sleep positions are on our side or on our backs when it comes to supporting the spine and neck, as well as keeping airways open for deep sleep. A 2007 study confirmed that those who slept mostly on their sides had deeper sleep patterns as well as less shoulder, arm, and neck pain when compared to those who slept in other positions. This study was published in The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.

The Stony Brook University School of Medicine looked at how our sleeping positions affected our brain health and how it discarded of metabolic waste. This study involved rats used to identify the glymphatic pathway. This works very much like the way the lymph system purifies the waste from our organs — cerebrospinal fluid flows through the brain and exchanges with our interstitial fluid to take out all the waste. It is when we are deeply asleep that this glymphatic pathway is at its most efficient. Amyloid proteins and tau proteins, commonly associated with poor brain function if allowed to build up, are commonly found in the waste removed from the brain as we sleep.

The glymphatic system is, for the most part, inactive during daylight hours. While we sleep, the size of the pathways increases by about 60 percent. This allows the cerebrospinal fluid to move through the body at a much faster pace.

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